Private school or a glass of milk?

Some days I hate Facebook. I would be living in my own little world, not involved in much of anything, taking it easy, enjoying life…if not for Facebook. (Well, at least I feel like I would.)

What has me in such a tizzy tonight? I came across a news article that someone shared, and it made me mad. Really mad.

To sum it up, the House Education Committee passed a bill out of committee with a Do Not Pass recommendation. Here is how HB 1421 reads:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF NORTH DAKOTA:
SECTION 1. APPROPRIATION. There is appropriated out of any moneys in the general fund in the state treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $1,239,300, or so much of the sum as may be necessary, to the superintendent of public instruction for the purpose of reimbursing school districts for one snack beverage of either milk or juice each day for students qualifying for the free or reduced school lunch program, for the biennium beginning July 1,
2013, and ending June 30, 2015.

The purpose of the bill? To simply provide a snack beverage (milk or juice) for those kids that cannot afford it.

Now, I’m not upset just because of the mean-spiritedness of voting against this type of legislation. I understand that some people firmly believe that government has no place in humanitarian efforts, and that civilization and communities should be able to take care of their own. And if any one of the representatives that voted against this bill would have stated that specifically as their case, I would be a little more lenient in my disgust.

The 10-3 Do Not Pass vote came down to party lines. And the possible loser in the end? Children who cannot afford an afternoon snack.

Do you want to know what really set me off? Three of the representatives that voted against providing milk to underprivileged children have sponsored a bill that will provide state funding (approx. $10,500 per student, at a total of $32 million per biennium) to those students who choose to attend private school. (HB 1466)

Let me clarify. We cannot provide milk to children who can’t afford it, but we will give assistance to families that choose to use private education.

Does this make sense to anyone?

The only logical explanation I can come up with is the party line vote for the school milk issue. It cannot be a concern on funding, or else three members of the House of Representatives just publicly became the biggest hypocrites I’ve seen this year (although, to be fair, it’s only February, so I’m sure I’ll see more).

Last week at meetings I attended, I heard the phrase “It’s politics” thrown around a lot. And I do understand…to a point. But I think it’s about time we expect a little better from those that are elected to represent us, especially at the state level.

Things to remember at the next election.

Update: I just watched the live video feed from the North Dakota House of Representatives. The bill was voted down, by a very large margin. As soon as I have more details, I’ll pass them on. Thank you, to all who have shared this post.

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11 thoughts on “Private school or a glass of milk?

  1. I just don’t get it. This country was founded on the idea of freedom of religion so why would we tie up a private school with public funds. Also, I totally agree with your points, then of course I would, I “preached” this to you your whole life. I DO NOT think private school need public money. If public schools are that bad, fix them.

  2. As a rural North Dakota mom who has seen hungry kids first hand in our own school districts, I don’t understand. Why politics with kids? Our son went to a private school in Fargo before we moved to rural ND where he has attended public school. Private school was a choice we made with the assumption there is NO funding for it. I agree there should be no funding for private schools. We need tax dollars funding public schools and we need to feed our kids locally and at state wide level, removing the handcuffs of the federal mandates of the school breakfast, lunch and snack programs. Thank you for speaking out, making me aware and researching this Val.

  3. I don’t get it. We DID pay private school tuition. To the tune of about $6K a year. Now our kids are in public school. North Dakota public schools are fine, no, very good. People have the right to send their children to private schools. I am a firm believer in school choice. I even home schooled for several years, in another state. On my dime. The state has an obligation to its schools. The state does. It have an obligation to private schools or home schoolers. But the state does have an obligation to take care of this children. In a state with a HUGE budgetary surplus, the least they can do is to give the least of these an extra 6 ounces of skim milk a day (whole would be better, but I’m not pushing my luck.).

  4. I’ll never understand why the millk bill wasn’t passed. It’s an embarrassment to the entire state. Tweeting your post to get the word out. Thanks for the post!

  5. I am so upset by this vote. Maybe this is what the GOP was talking about when they said that Obama was voted in by the people who want things. Well I did vote for Obama and I do want the children to have milk or juice or whatever it is that will make their lives better. It’s tough enough to be a kid in todays world. Let’s let the children go to school in a safe enviroment, eager to learn, but not to learn that they aren’t as important as the next child. Shame on the ones who voted this down. I plan to get the list of how exactly everyone voted and share it will everyone I know. Can’t wait for the next election!

    • Let me do you one better. Here’s the list you’re looking for:
      YEAS: Amerman; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Glassheim; Gruchalla; Guggisberg; Haak;
      Hanson; Hawken; Hogan; Holman; Hunskor; Kelsh, J.; Kelsh, S.; Mock; Mooney;
      Muscha; Nelson, M.; Onstad; Oversen; Strinden; Williams; Zaiser

      NAYS: Anderson; Beadle; Becker; Bellew; Belter; Boehning; Brabandt; Brandenburg;
      Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Dockter; Dosch; Drovdal; Frantsvog; Froseth; Grande;
      Hatlestad; Headland; Heilman; Heller; Hofstad; Johnson, D.; Johnson, N.; Karls;
      Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klein; Klemin; Koppelman, B.; Koppelman, K.;
      Kreidt; Kretschmar; Kreun; Laning; Larson; Looysen; Louser; Maragos; Martinson;
      Meier; Monson; Nathe; Nelson, J.; Owens; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Rohr; Ruby; Rust;
      Sanford; Schatz; Schmidt; Silbernagel; Skarphol; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Thoreson;
      Toman; Trottier; Vigesaa; Wall; Weisz; Wieland; Speaker Devlin

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